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April 17, 2009
Lorna Dueck

It took an earthquake and hundreds of thousands of lives to get our attention. Haiti was screaming “help” many years ago, but most of us didn’t know much about Haiti’s misery. I was guilty of ignorance about Haiti myself until I visited last January after the earthquake. Even God seemed absent when the earth decided to shake and crush people under their homes. As if 80% of Haitians living under poverty line, 70% unemployed, 47% illiterate and 80 children out of 1,000 die before the age of 5 were not enough misery. More than 250,000 people needed to die and many more needed to become homeless for us to turn the eyes of compassion towards the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.

One year later, and the news hasn’t changed much. Political strife and cholera epidemics claiming more lives and sinking the country into more devastation. I find myself torn between giving up on hope for that country and wishing I had a Harry Potter-like magic wand that could change realities or bring new ones. Until I can wave my magic wand, I have to consider other options. Giving up on hope is neither in my nature nor part of my outlook on life.

I’m reminded of the Gospel of John’s account of the Raising of Lazarus. When Lazarus fell ill, his two sisters, Martha and Mary, sent a message to Jesus, “the one you love is sick." How clever of Lazarus' sisters. “The one you love is sick." You would think that would move the heart of Jesus and rush him straight to Bethany, Lazarus' hometown. It didn’t work. Jesus took his time, as he always did. Four days we are told, and Lazarus was dead already. I can imagine the frustration Martha, Mary and certainly Lazarus, must have experienced. "Where the heck is Jesus?" When Jesus finally showed up in Bethany, Martha greeted him with “Lord, if you were here, my brother wouldn’t have died."

Haiti’s situation today is not much different from Lazarus’ Bethany. Many people faithfully sending their heartfelt and cleverly scripted prayers to God. Perhaps it needs to be said louder. “THE ONES YOU LOVE, need you!” God seems to be taking God’s time and Haiti isn’t getting any better. God will get a mouthful when God finally shows up and it appears to be too late for Haiti. I am one who wouldn’t let God off the hook for delaying actions or a response.

Later in the story, John tells us that Jesus brought Lazarus out of the tomb and back to life. I wonder if our waiting for Haiti is similar to Martha, Mary and the rest of Lazarus’ mourners, and at the end life we'll be restored or should we be looking for magic wands in our local stores? I wonder, but I trust and I hope. I believe God's plan for Haiti and his people will prevail.

God told them to remove the stone and said, "I'll do the rest." 

Moussa Faddoul is the videographer, editor and photographer for Listen Up TV


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